Having someone give the care of their children into your hands for more than just a couple of hours is terrifying. I think we probably made even stricter decisions than we did with our own children when the first one hit that milestone age of 13 several years later. This isn’t like borrowing a lawn mower, or even a luxury automobile—these were souls we were asked to look after, in some of their most important years.
Those girls are grown now, even older than we were when they lived with us. In spite of those six months, they turned out very well, as have their own children. I doubt it had anything to do with us, but you had better believe that we were on our toes far more in those six months than at any other time in our lives. Still, we made mistakes, but it wasn’t for lack of praying and considering before we did anything.
I am sure you can understand how we felt. Here’s the thing, as a famous fictional TV detective is wont to say: all of us who are parents are given Someone Else’s kids to care for. All souls are mine, God said in Ezek 18:4. The Hebrew writer calls Him “the Father of spirits” in 12:9, the same word he uses in verse 23, “the spirits of just men made perfect.” God is the Father of all souls, including those children of His He has entrusted to our care. How careful should we be about raising them?
I have seen too many parents who are more concerned with their careers, with their personal “fulfillment,” and their own agendas. They want children because that is what you do, the thing that is expected by society, and a right they feel they must exercise, not because they want to spend the time it takes to care for them. “I’m too busy for that,” they say of everything from nursing and potty training to teaching them Bible stories and their ABCs. When you decide to take on the privilege of caring for one of God’s souls, you have obligated yourself to whatever time it takes to do it properly and with the care you would for the most valuable object anyone ever entrusted into your hands.
If realizing that the souls of the children in your home are God’s doesn’t terrify you at least a little bit, you probably aren’t doing a very good job of taking care of them.
And he said unto them, Set your heart unto all the words which I testify unto you this day, which you shall command your children to observe to do, even all the words of this law. For it is no vain thing for you; because it is your life… Deuteronomy 32:46-47.